The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 January 2003

Romulans bearing two zero nine, mark six

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) is persuaded that we ought to find $7 billion in the budget to pay for outfitting commercial jets with anti-missile systems. "We can't stop everything bad from happening," says Boxer, "but we can take prudent measures."

This, of course, runs counter to standard leftist dogma, which states that you can stop everything bad from happening, if your government is big enough and sufficiently staffed with people with the Correct Mindset.

Taken all by itself, this might look like a sign of sanity in the Senator. But one question remains unanswered: do missiles pose a threat to commercial jets? Paul Musgrave at Hoosier Review isn't so sure:

It is difficult to believe that missiles designed to work in combat situations are readily available and a threat but could be defeated by relatively simple countermeasures. I'm hardly an expert, but I suspect that Stingers and Redeyes were built to outsmart the sorts of countermeasures that we could place on 747s.

And why would Boxer be proposing such a thing, anyway? The only thing I can figure is that she's scared of being shot out of the sky, and she's willing to make the airline industry spend a million bucks per plane for some form of reassurance. In this case, she would be better served — and less expensively, to be sure — by driving. You can get a whole lot of SUVs for that kind of money.

Posted at 3:19 PM to Political Science Fiction


The reason Boxer is fighting for this near-worthless technology is blatantly obvious: pork. The Defense Industry is huge in California. No need to psychoanalyze or ascribe to whatever stereotype of the straw-liberal put up for knocking down.

Posted by: Larry Beckman at 3:41 PM on 19 January 2003

If Boxer were to drive instead of flying, it'd also be better for air quality. Y'see, it would taker her at least a week to get from California to D.C. or back -- so that would be seven days in which she could neither bloviate on the Senate floor, nor pontificate at a California fundraiser.

Posted by: Kevin McGehee at 4:01 PM on 19 January 2003

Why don't they just ban missles. I mean, gun control has worked SOOOO well.

Posted by: Ravenwood at 12:05 PM on 21 January 2003